A government agent posing as a research assistant was sent to London by the FBI in 2016 to meet with an aide to presidential candidate Donald Trump as part of an operation looking at campaign links to Russia, The New York Times reported Thursday.
According to the Times, the woman, who said her name was Azra Turk and she wanted to talk about foreign policy issues, met with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos at a London bar in September 2016.
She was actually a government investigator sent to help oversee a politically sensitive operation and was working alongside a longtime informant, Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, the Times reported.
In his book, "Deep State Target," Papadopoulos described her as attractive and said she almost immediately began questioning him about whether the Trump campaign was working with Russia.
"There is no way this is a Cambridge professor's research assistant," he recalled thinking, according to his book.
In recent weeks, he has tweeted he thinks Turk might have been working for Turkish intelligence, though he did not provide evidence.
The government's affiliation with her is a previously unreported detail of an operation that has become a flash point as President Donald Trump and his allies accuse law enforcement and intelligence officials of spying on his campaign to undermine his electoral chances, the Times reported.
The London operation yielded no fruitful information, the Times reported.
But the activities in the months before the election are now under scrutiny as part of an investigation by Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, the Times noted. He could make the results public in May or June, Attorney General William Barr has said.
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